(And On)

Old Noah set an interesting precedent
By the animals he called to the Ark.
But ne’er has his example gained such assent
As was given by our man at St Mark’s.

‘Harvest Festivals are all very well’, he averred,
But they only have marrows and corn.
We need to give thanks for the animal world,
For every piglet and puppy that’s born.’

At St Francistide this friend to beasts all,
Bade animals to his church two by two;
So many replied to his welcoming call
That the nave soon resembled a zoo.

The M.C. marched ahead of the flocks,
Censing every inch of the way
A needful task to prevent any shocks
If the foxes all started to spray.

They baa-ed, they barked and hopped all about;
All making such a terrible din
That the Vicar’s sermon turned into a shout
And the cacophony fair drowned the hymn.

A cockerel trying his harem to seek
With doodle-doos that reached to the spire.
‘Better than the hymns what we sing every week’
Grunted the verger who hated the choir.

All went with a swing till the very last round
When a great beast leapt up from his mat.
Squire Robinson’s pedigree hunting hound
Had swallowed poor Father’s pet cat.

Alan Edwards